صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

From worldly bondage to set free? what gain
Her votaries? what avails from iron chains
Exempt, if rosy fetters bind us fast ?

Bestir! and answer your creation's end!
Think we that man, with vigorous power endow'd,
And room to stretch, was destined to sit still ?
Sluggards are Nature's rebels, not her sons,
Nor live up to the terms on which they hold
Their lease of life—laborious terms and hard,
But such the tenure of our earthly state.
Riches and Fame are Industry's reward;
The nimble runner courses Fortune down,
And then he banquets, for she feeds the bold.
Think what you owe your country, what your.

self! If splendour charm not, yet avoid the scorn That treads on lowly station! Think of some Assiduous booby, mounting o'er your head, And thence with saucy grandeur looking down! Think of, Reflection's stab! the pitying friend With shoulder shrugg'd, and sorry! Think that Has golden minutes, if discreetly seized: [Time And if an exemplary indolence To warn and scare be wanting-look on me!





An Epistle.


[ocr errors]

Yes, you condemn those sages too refined
That gravely lecture ere they know mankind;
Who, whilst ambition's fiercer fires they blame,
Would damp each useful spark that kindles fame.

'Tis in false estimates the folly lies, The passion's blameless, when the judgment's wise.

In vain philosophers with warmth contest, Life's secret shade or open walk is best : Each has its separate joys, and each its use ; This calls the patriot forth, and that the Muse. Hence not alike to all the species Heaven An equal thirst of public fame has given: Patrius it forms to shine in action great; While Decio's talents best adorn retreat. If where Pierian maids delight to dwell, The haunts of silence and the peaceful cell, Had, fair Astræa! been thy Talbot's choice, Could listening crowds now hang upon his voice? And thou, bless'd maid, mightst long have wept in The distant glories of a second reign, (vain In exile doom'd yet ages to complain.

Were high ambition still the power confess'd That ruled with equal sway in every breast, Say where the glories of the sacred Nine? Where Homer's verse sublime, or, Milton, thine? Nor thou, sweet bard! who turn'd the tunefulart From sound to sense, from fancy to the heart,' Thy lays instructive to the world hadst given, Nor greatly justified the laws of Heaven.

Let satire blast with every mark of hate The vain aspirer or dishonest great, Whom love of wealth or wild ambition's sway Push forward, still regardless of the way; High and more high who aim with restless pride, Where neither reason nor fair virtue guide; And him, the wretch, who labours on with pain For the low lucre of a useless gain (Wise but to get, and active but to save), May scorn deserved still follow to the grave. But he who, fond to raise a splendid name, On life's ambitious height would fix his fame, In active arts or venturous arms would shine, Yet shuns the paths which virtue bids decline; Who dignifies his wealth by generous use, To raise the oppress’d, or merit to produce Shall reason's voice impartial e'er condemn The glorious purpose of so wise an aim ?

Where virtue regulates this just desire, "Twere dangerous folly to suppress its fire. Say, whence could fame supply (its force unknown) Her roll illustrious of fair renown? What laurels prompt the hero's useful rage? What prize the patriot's weighty toils engage? Each public passion bound to endless frost, Each deed of social worth for ever lost. 0! may the Muse inspire the love of praise, Raise the bright passion, but with judgment raise ! For this she oft has tuned her sacred voice, Calld forth the patriot, and approved his choice; Bid him the steep ascent to honour take, Nor, till the summit gain’d, her paths forsake.

Yet not success alone true fame attends; He too shall reach it who but well intends.

See midst the vanquish'd virtuous Falkland * lies;
His generous efforts vain, and vain his sighs;
Yet true to merit faithful records tell,
To distant ages, how the patriot fell:
Bless'd youth! insured the sweetest voice of praise,
Who lives approved in Pope's unrival'd lays.

Grave precepts fleeting notions may impart,
But bright example best instructs the heart:
Then look on Patrius, let his conduct show
From active life what various blessings flow.
In him a just ambition stands confess'd ;
It warms, but not inflames, his equal breast.
See him in senates act the patriot's part,
Truth on his lips, the public at his heart;
There neither fears can awe nor hopes control
The honest purpose of his steady soul.
No mean attachments e'er seduced his tongue
To gild the cause his heart suspected wrong ;
But, deaf to envy, faction, spleen, his voice
Joins here or there, as reason guides his choice.
To one great point his faithful labours nd,
And all his toils in Britain's interest end.
To him each neighbour safe refers his claim,
The right he settles, and abates the flame.
Nor arts nor worth to Patrius sue in vain,
Not unrelieved the injured e'er complain.
For him the hand unseen are prayers preferr'd,
And grateful vows in distant temples heard ;
Like nature's blessings to no part confined,
His well poised bounty reaches all mankind;
That insolence of wealth, the pomp of state,
Which crowds the mansions of the vainly great,
Flies far the limits of his modest gate.

• He was killed in the civil wars : see his character at large in Clarendon's History.

Just what is elegantly useful's there;
Of aught beyond he scorns the' unworthy care;
Nor would, for all the trim that pride can show,
One single act of social aid forego;
For this he labours to improve his store,
For this he wishes to enlarge his power;
This is his life's great purpose, end, and aim :
Such true ambition is, and worthy fame.

How different Rapax spent his worthless hour!
With treasure indigent, a slave with power:
Large sums o'erlooking, still intent on more,
He wasted, not enjoy'd, his tasteless store.
His growing greatness raised his hopes the higher,
And fann'd his restless pride's increasing fire ;
'Twas thus amidst prosperity he pined;
For what can fill the false ambitious mind ?
With all the honours that his prince could give,
With all the wealth his avarice could receive,
Midst outward opulence, but inward care,
Reproach and want was all he left his heir.

'Tis true, the patriot well deserves his fame, And from his country just applause may claim. But what avails it to the world beside, That Brutus bravely stabb’d, or Curtius died? While Tully's merit, unconfined to place, Diffuses blessings down through all our race; Remotest times his learned labours reach, And Rome's great moralist e'en now shall teach,

Averse to public noise, ambition's strife, And all the splendid ills of busy life, Through latent paths, unmark'd by vulgar eye, Are there who wish to pass unheeded by? Whom calm retirement's sacred pleasures move, The hour contemplative, or friend they love;

« السابقةمتابعة »